Old Price Riots

The Old Price Riots began on 18 September 1809 and concluded on 15 December 1809. The riots were a consumer protest movement staged by theatregoers of Covent Garden Theatre for a total of sixty-seven nights, demanding a return of old prices for seats at the theater. Day after day, week after week, from September through December, protestors made noise, brandished placards, fashioned O.P. medals and faux money, created signature O.P. songs, and even performed an O.P. Dance. Hardly relegated to the environs of Covent Garden, the event dominated London’s theatrical and print culture in the form of news reports, pamphlets, broadsides, and graphic images, which circulated throughout the metropolis and beyond. Image: George Cruikshank, The O.P. Spectacles (17 November 1809; (© Victoria and Albert Museum, London).


Terry F. Robinson, “National Theatre in Transition: The London Patent Theatre Fires of 1808-1809 and the Old Price Riots”

Associated Place(s)

Event date:

18 Sep 1809 to 15 Dec 1809

Event Source: